DSWD continues validation of duplicate recipients of gov’t cash aid
DUMAGUETE CITY, May 27 (PIA) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is continuously cross-matching the names of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) recipients in Negros Oriental who also appear in the list of beneficiaries of other financial aid offered by other government agencies.
DSWD Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Provincial Link Reggie Locsin disclosed that some SAP recipients also received other cash assistance from other government agencies such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Agriculture, and Social Security System (SSS) when they should only receive aid from a single government agency.
Locsin added some recipients use other schemes just to ensure they would receive the said cash assistance.
She revealed that some individuals, especially couples, would list one of them in the barangay where they currently reside while the spouse would go to other barangays where the person was born and get enlisted there.
Aside from this, other individuals who filled-out SAP forms would exclude the names of their children who are employed so they can qualify for the cash subsidy.
Locsin also admitted that some families who are already covered by Pantawid received the SAP cash assistance twice because one member, mostly the father, is also a beneficiary of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program of DSWD.
The DSWD official underscored that the department is already looking into these duplications, noting that this scenario is not only happening in Negros Oriental but in other places nationwide as well.
“Ongoing ang validation. Daghan kaayo ang duplicates. Medyo diha mi nagkaproblema sa cross-matching (Our validation is ongoing since there are many duplicate recipients of the cash assistance. Currently, we are struggling with the cross-matching),” Locsin told members of the media in a recent press briefing.
One of the agencies the DSWD is coordinating with for the cross-matching is the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
To this, DOLE Negros Oriental Information Officer Blessie De Padua agreed that cross-matching is a challenge for the government since it is done manually.
“We don’t have the database. There was no database created where the DOLE and the DSWD can see who these beneficiaries are and I think they are still working on it. What we do is manual transmission of files. Dili pa na pag-enter sa computer na mo-red flag na ‘ui naka-avail na ni (ug cash assistance).’ It’s a failure of the system, mainly because it was a pandemic. It was a state of emergency na-overlook sa policy making nato sa taas (What we do is manual transmission of files. It’s not like when you enter a name of a person in the computer it would notify that the individual already received cash assistance. It’s a failure of the system mainly because it was pandemic. It was a state of emergency and our policy-makers in the top level have overlooked this),” De Padua explained.
Locsin cited that national guidelines did not specify the sanction for duplicate recipients but those who received double cash aid are told to return the money to their respective Local Government Unit (LGU).
She also stressed it is the LGU and the city or municipal social welfare office of the city and town who are the actual implementers of the SAP cash aid and DSWD is just providing assistance during the distribution.
For 4Ps beneficiaries who are duplicate recipients, Locsin disclosed they may be ineligible to receive the second tranche of SAP if it pushes through.
She also hinted the possibility that the amount they have to return might be deducted from their regular cash grants but clarified that this is an option which can be considered in case they would not be able to return the extra cash aid they received.
Even though there are SAP beneficiaries who did not return the extra cash aid they received, there were also many who returned the money to their LGU.
With this, another individual was chosen as replacement to receive the cash assistance.
On the other hand, Locsin said their office has not received a directive regarding the second tranche of SAP for areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
However, in case there will be another tranche of SAP, Locsin said the list of beneficiaries must be sanitized thoroughly to avoid duplication of recipients. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)